Best-selling author Stephen King has urged students graduating from America's University of Maine to donate a tenth of their earnings to worthy causes - and stay in the New England state.

Delivering the commencement speech at his alma mater on Saturday (07MAY05), The Shawshank Redemption author rattled off a "top 10" list in which he urged students to hug and kiss whoever helped them achieve, to read as much as they could and to give away everything they earn.

The writer, who is known for his own generosity to the university, warned, "If you don't, the government is just going to take it for you. You're not an owner in this life, you're just a steward."

The last four points of his list were the same: Stay in Maine.

Despite his celebrity, King has chosen to live in his native state for most of his life and makes his home in nearby Bangor.

He explained, "If you leave, you will miss it, so you might as well skip the going away part."

09/05/2005 09:31